There may be a dozen ways to skin the proverbial outdoor lighting cat (sorry for that, felines), but it never hurts to review some of the most common basics. Some of my favorite approaches outdoors start with pure natural light with some simple modifications, leaving the strobes or speedlites at the ready only when they are absolutely needed or desired. After all, natty light should look natural, no?
Articles written by Nino Batista
Several of my associates are surprised to find out that, based on my 3+ years of traveling to give workshops, something like 75% of my class attendees see retouching as a necessary evil, or otherwise disliked doing it and wished they didn't have to bother with it. They all wanted to be good at it, but for many and varied reasons, weren't. And sometimes I am asked "How important is retouching anyway?" So I decided to record a mini-episode of my web series to talk about it a bit.
Seems like just a short few years ago, Sony DSLR's were the laughing stock, what with their proprietary this and convoluted that. Yet today, going into 2016, Sony has made a huge impact in the photography world with their hyper-techy mirrorless cameras almost out of nowhere. After much consideration (and provocation from Sony) I decided to try out some Sony gear in the most challenging way possible: on a client job. Nope, I had never worked with a Sony before. What could possibly go wrong?
It can been said that according to Occam's Razor, the simplest solution to a complex problem is usually the correct one. That's all well and good in logic and philosophy, but when it comes to art, solving problems is hardly the priority. Or rather, it shouldn't be. This is why my motivation of late is steeped in the mantra of "How do I eschew my usual, or anyone else's for that matter?" when I walk onto a set.
All children have imaginations ranging from creative to radically abstract, and it's not until we become adults that far too many of us accidentally lose a good chunk of that imagination after the years start to stack up. How cool would it be for a child to see a dramatized depiction of what they want to be when they grew up? Brandon Cawood and his family asked the same question and put a project into motion called "When I Grow Up."
While there are obviously no strict rules about what lenses a photographer should buy, my curiosity was piqued recently, when legendary Glamour Photographer Jarmo Pohjaniemi (Playboy, Shoot The Centerfold) announced he was headed to Santorini with a pair of Canon EF 11-24 f/4L USM lenses. I assumed he was going to shoot landscapes (after all, it’s Santorini), but his answers when I asked were far more interesting than that.
First off, some Fstoppers readers who follow my articles may be confused right now because I am posting an automotive retouching tutorial. For those who don't know, I used to do quite a lot of automotive photography work from 2011-2013 or so, and these days I still take the occasional car job here and there. But what I was so grateful for in 2011, when I started in this direction of editing, was that I was already very familiar and comfortable with Photoshop's pen tool - the ultimate weapon in automotive retouching (and more).
This has been discussed several times before and, by the way, spoiler alert: The answer is no. However, there are many of us in our field who eventually figure out that traveling (out of town, out of state, out of country, even) is often the key to their success. Or at the very least, more success.
Recently, SmugMug featured the amazing artist Renee Robyn, based in Canada in a touching tribute video called "Dream Of A Digital Artist', and I recommend you take the 3 and a half minutes and check it out. If it doesn't leave you in awe and full of inspiration, then you must not have a pulse.
I'll preface this today by making it clear that I know very little to nothing about architectural retouching, landscape retouching, or product photography retouching. That said, I've dedicated the last two decades to Adobe Photoshop, and the last seven years specifically to portrait retouching. As such, I've come to realize one key thing: If your skin work is no good, everything else in your retouch just falls apart, if you will, as the basic foundation is already substandard.
In today's carnival of conceit known as social media, the term selfie has come to be defined as a snapshot of oneself, almost always shot with a smartphone. Selfies have become synonymous with the millennial generation, and have been described as everything from harmless fun to wanton narcissism. But boudoir photographer Kara Marie Trombetta of Kara Marie Boudoir (formerly known as Click Chick Boudoir) has proposed a proper business purpose for selfies in her Business of Boudoir article entitled Selfies: Yes You Have To.
Here in 2015, everyone and their grandmother has a smartphone with a camera. Subsequently, almost every interesting second of life on Earth is, for the most part, captured digitally on said devices, or so it would seem. Every now and then, it takes more than dumb luck to catch a one-in-a-million snap of something seldom seen close up. In the case of professional stormchaser Hank Schyma, this lightning strike near downtown Houston was a project 20 years in the making.
Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added "Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend..." as the caption. This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.
Every photographer out there either has legal counsel or very much should have legal counsel. After all, it's a new world out there, and protecting your intellectual property here in 2015 is crucial. That said, there are those who have yet to seek legal counsel, or perhaps feel no need to as they shoot as a hobby. But if you could ask a copyright and licensing attorney anything, what would you ask?
The fact of the matter is, my vlog installment today is discussing absolutely nothing new. It's the same stuff everyone in glamour photography knows about, and has known about for decades, but few from the photographer camp ever say anything about. Female models are far too often manipulated, insulted, used, abused and sometimes assaulted, and enough is enough. And before you get uppity about the fact that glamour models shoot sexualized photos and somehow or another deserve the harassment or attacks, you may want to check yourself.
After a short break, my video tutorial series on Photoshop Beginners Basics is back, this time covering Photoshop Actions in detail. If you've ever fumbled around trying to figure out what Actions were, or how they worked, and found yourself confused, then read on. Oh, and watch the video while you're at it.
It's never a bad day, or more often evening, when I get to Skype with Peter Coulson, an artist I am proud to say is my friend, from his place in Melbourne, Australia. However, our most recent Skype discussion was totally hinged around the controversy surrounding Richard Prince's appropriation and subsequent sale of prints featuring Instagram screenshots of photos by other photographers. One of these photos, in fact, was shot by Coulson. I asked him about it, and we chatted.
Specifically, John is my attorney, and I am lucky to have him on my side of things when it comes to my work, as he is rather sought after and emerging as one of the preeminent patent and copyright lawyers in the country. But before I go into that, I will say that I know I'm going to catch hell for this article today, as evidenced by the many and varied opinions I've seen in the industry about this latest Richard Prince controversy. Here goes nothing.
We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.
If you're not familiar with Peter Coulson's fashion and editorial work, you have clearly been living under the proverbial rock or simply don't follow portraiture. Coulson has quickly become one of the most respected and successful fashion photographers from down under, and has been fielding an endless stream of requests to visit America. Namely, to teach his voodoo studio mastery to the masses. Thankfully, this June in Chicago and New York, Coulson is doing exactly that.